Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Perth Festival overview

The Giants are taking to the streets and I'm looking forward to checking out The Rabbits as a diverse Perth Festival opens tomorrow.

The classical music line up isn't as diverse. The program (as devised by Chris van Tuinen) involves repetition (lots of Baroque ensembles), reinvention (do we really need another Madama Butterfly?) and some collaborations.

Definitely the most innovative night out will be The Rabbits, opening Friday 12th Feb. The composer is pop artist Kate Miller-Heidke who describes it as opera/musical/song cycle/wierd pop concert/puppet show/art play. The production features opera singers and indigenous theatre performers bringing to life John Marsden and Shaun Tan's book The Rabbits.

Another multi-disciplinary idea is the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra's House of Dreams which brings to life the Baroque era. The concert on February 19th will use music, art and drama to recreate the European houses where Vivaldi and Bach lived and worked.

On March 7th the Baroque theme continues with instrumental and vocal ensemble Les Arts Florissants (William Christie) presenting In An Italian Garden featuring Italian lyric works. The early music revival continues at St Mary's Cathedral will resound on March 3rd as The Sixteen (Harry Christophers) present choral music from the Renaissance with some new works by James Macmillan.

On February 20th the Australian String Quartet will collaborate with the Festival in a concert that will include the premiere of Ross Edwards Gallipoli. I had a fabulous chat with Ross late last year and the conversation will appear here soon. Ross will be in the audience for the premiere.

WA Opera are presenting yet another Madama Butterfly opening Feb 24th but there is hope as this time it is Anthony Minghella's Olivier Award-winning production (from London in 2005) with Mary Plazas as Mimi.

Now here's something different: Fremantle Arts Centre are hosting  Soft Soft Loud on Feb 27th featuring a Finnish jazz pianist (Tuomo Prattala) and beat boxer (Felix Zenger) with an ensemble of 10 WA classical musicians. More info on this gig coming soon...

Perhaps I'm being harsh. Have you been enticed to buy tickets to anything? Or are you still, like me, recovering from the excitement of Fringeworld?





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